Monday, August 27, 2007

while you debate half-empty or half-full

Sometimes I act my age, and other times, I regress in a frightening way. I've noticed this trend that, directly after my exams (which are a bit unnecessarily frequent at the moment, but do keep me in line I suppose), my spirits are in the mud. I feel lousy. I feel I didn't study enough, or I wasn't asked the questions I thought I would be asked, or I didn't get to really demonstrate what I have learned. Luckily, I don't talk about all of this, but internally, I feel like a failure.

Then slowly, I realize I have not done that badly, or even that I have done quite well, and, what's more, I remember that all of these f***ing classes are pass-fail, so slow and steady wins the race. And I feel fine for the most part.

When I was studying chemistry, in the really early days of my study of chemistry, this used to happen. But I was far more unbearable back then, being only 17 and a bit of a jacka$$. So I would bemoan my stupidity, thrash myself for bombing an exam, drink three shots of Peppermint Schnapps while toying with the notion of smoking a clove cigarette for effect. And after Test #3 or 4, my friends got really annoyed with this. Not just because it's ridiculous to get so worked up about a test, but also because I always wound up doing just fine, sometimes more than fine.

The extremes are not quite as extreme anymore. I get back to baseline much faster, and I don't teeter quite as high or low. But I still have the oscillation and it grates on my nerves, grating on me almost as much as my classmates who obsess about getting an extra point here and there. There's some whack logic in my head that needs to get purged, some logic that says- you love this, you went all out to get here, you must get. every. question. right. And as much as outwardly, I shrug it off and pretend I don't care, there is a pesky question from three weeks ago that is still sitting in the pit of my stomach, churning about, taunting me, driving me bonkers that I got it wrong. Ridiculous! But no matter how much you tell yourself that, it doesn't really make the churning go away.

What I have been trying to tell myself is this- don't be half-a$$ed. Know this sh*t, because that's why you're here. Know it and love it, or what is the point. But, FTLOG, let it go too. Don't obsess. Don't waste time in life worrying about that which cannot be changed. And don't, for one second, think you can't do it. As soon as those doubts start swirling through your head, game, set and match, b*tch.

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